Cane Festival competition judges unveiled
The first International Sugar Cane Spirits Festival & Tasting Competition will set some benchmarks for sugar-based spirits when an international panel of judges renders it decisions later this month in Tampa's Ybor City.
Spirits will be judged in the following classes:
√ Flavored / Spiced / Cream
√ White Rum, including those spirits aged less than one year.
√ Dark Rum
√ Premium Rum
√ Rhum Agricole Blanc
√ Rhum Agricole Vieux
√ Cacahça, unaged
√ Cacahça, aged
The judges, in alphabetical order by nation:
• Paul Artrip, Virginia
Rum collector, food and beverage writer for regional Parrot Head Clubs.
• Natalie Brown, Ybor City, FL
Owner, Good Luck Café, Ybor City.
• Robert A. Burr, Coral Gables, FL
Host of the "Gifted Rums" seminar in Coral Gables, FL.; editor of The Pedestrian Pocket Guide to Coral Gables and the "Coral Gables Pedestrian Guide" Web site.
• Christopher Carlsson, New York
Editor, Spirits Review.
• Peter Covino, Kissimmee, FL
Entertainment editor, dining critic and spirit connisseur at the Osceola (FL) News-Gazette.
• Gary Crowder, New York
Senior Vice President/Resort Operations at Mohegan Sun Hotel Casino, Uncasville, CT.
• Wayne Curtis, Maine
Author, ""And a Bottle of Rum: A History of the New World In 10 Cocktails," scheduled for summer release by Crown; travel writer and contributor to numerous Frommer's guidebooks.
• William M. Dowd, Albany, NY
Editor and publisher of Dowd's Bar Blog, a blog-ring of four online sites; associate editor and chief restaurant critic for the Times Union newspaper and its two Web sites; published in literally dozens of U.S. and Canadian newspapers and such national magazines as Sante, and on numerous Web sites.
• Catherine Eagles, San Francisco, CA
Rum connoisseur; president, Buzzbar Productions.
• Daphne Muse, Oakland, CA
Writer published in The Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury and Hungry Mind Review; commentaries have aired on WTOP-FM and NPR.
• Jack Robertiello, New York
Writer and Web editor for Adams Beverage Group, former editor "Cheers"; author of "Mangia, The Best Italian Food in New York City."
• Ed Schiller , Ybor City, FL
Sea captain and master mariner, has traveled the world sampling indigenous spirits in their local environs; owner of Gaspar's Grotto in Ybor City.
• Ian Burrell, London
Owner of Cottons, an award-winning Caribbean restaurant in London with the largest collection of rums in the UK; rum expert for Taste & Flavour School for Spirits.
• Duane Dove, Sweden
Proprietor/sommelier of Sjögräs, restaurant and bar with what reputedly is the largest rum collection in Sweden; roots in Trinidad & Tobago and Guadeloupe; known for his “Rum & Chocolate,” matching aged rums with chocolates made with Caribbean cocoa.
• Francisco Fernandez, Panama
Master distiller at Varela Hermanos, makers of Abuelo and other rums.
Following the March 22-25 festival, results will be distributed to the national alcoholic beverage media, the Caribbean travel media and posted on the Ministry of Rum and Polished Palate Web sites.
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Posted by William M. Dowd at 12:56 PM